20th December 2016

Precision benefits promised at LAMMA

enews Dec16 lammaVisitors to this year’s LAMMA event are being encouraged to venture into the world of precision crop production with the proven results of variable rate nitrogen.

Thanks to extensive trials, precision crop production specialist, SOYL is confident that growers will see their crop yields increase after using its variable rate nitrogen service, SOYLsense. The technique also results in increased protein levels, ability to monitor 100% of the field and reduced lodging and disease pressure.

“Ten years of trials have shown a typical yield benefit of 4.6% in winter wheat when using variable rate nitrogen compared with flat rate applications,” explains SOYL’s commercial director, Simon Parrington. “Variable rate nitrogen has huge benefits in the UK’s conditions. I haven’t met a grower yet who isn’t interested in this level of yield improvement.”

David Sworder of Blue Bury Contractors Ltd was convinced by variable rate nitrogen last year. Farming and contract farming around 4,750 acres in Hertfordshire, he used SOYLsense for the first time on 30 hectares of wheat. With yields of 8.7, 8.7 and 9.0t/ha, Mr Sworder was pleased with the results.

“Fields around here seem to have three or four soil types each,” Mr Sworder explains. “Our soils are so variable and we wanted to try to even up the crop, so we tried SOYLsense on three fields at our home farm.

“Even from a visual point of view, the fields looked more even and the combine maps showed the same thing. We had some excellent wheat yields this year.

“It takes a lot of pressure off as you’re not putting fertiliser where it’s not needed,” Mr Sworder adds. “I think it’s the way forward.”

SOYLsense uses satellite imagery to monitor variation in crop biomass which is then managed with variable rate nitrogen applications. Images are presented as Leaf Area Index maps which SOYL converts using agronomic models to create a nitrogen plan suitable for the growth stage of the crop. Nitrogen maps are produced by SOYL, or by the grower using SOYL’s self service website.

For growers considering SOYLsense for the first time, split field trials to demonstrate the difference first hand are simple to set up. Many spreaders and sprayers are already variable rate ready but where needed, can be equipped for as little as £750.

Growers can visit SOYL’s expert team at LAMMA stand 7103 to discuss variable rate nitrogen and other precision techniques. They can also see live demonstrations of online business management tool, MySOYL and field scouting app, iSOYLscout.

LAMMA is the UK’s leading farm machinery, equipment and services show. It will be held on 18th and 19th January at the East of England Showground, Peterborough PE2 6XE.

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